Cultural criticism is a kind of reading. As we try to understand our times, discern where the Spirit is afoot, and identify what powers and principalities hold us captive, we are interpreting culture. It’s like our cultural context is an open book, but like any book, the meaning has to be mined. We need to learn to read well.

But as Alan Jacobs argued in A Theology of Reading: The Hermeneutics of Love, we need to be careful not to confuse criticism with suspicion. Reading well means reading charitably. Yet reading charitably does not mean reading uncritically. Charitable cultural criticism is its own sort of dance.